Welcome to another episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast, episode number 30! I’m asked several times a day “Have you seen the movie”… of course referring to TOPGUN Maverick. Of course I have, the opening night! During this review, I talk about the Air Force’s TOPGUN school, the US Air Force Weapons School based out of Nellis Air Force Base north of Las Vegas. Attendance to the Weapons School is by a competitive review board of each applicant. Often graduates or “Patch Wearers” as they are called get summoned to work complex military operations because of their planning and leadership skills. The scenario of the movie is not as far-fetched as you might think and I give some examples of planning missions, why planners chose a course of action, and some historical operations to strike and destroy nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons facilities as depicted in TOPGUN Maverick. And how do pilots and aircrew members get those crazy callsigns you hear about in the movie? Wikipedia has a pretty good write-up on the Israeli Air Force strike on a nuclear plant in eastern Syria called Operation Outside the Box, the name chosen because Syria and North Korea tried to hide the nuclear facility under a boxy-type building. Syria’s air defense system was rendered totally inoperable during the raid using means developed by the US. I could not find the website Above Top Secret Surface to Air Missile Google Maps overlay. Here is a picture of the Russian airfield near Latakia Syria showing the S-400 SAM sites… which Israeli Air Force F-35 seem impervious from attack! Notice the Russian SU-35 rolling out on the runway and the IL-76 AWACS parked on the ramp! Article on the B-2 bombers attacking Sirte Libya. This was a long mission planned and led by Weapons School graduates and required 950K+ gas from Air Force tankers to accomplish. Thanks to Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit for sponsoring this show. This and previous episodes of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast can be downloaded from markhasara.com Thanks for listening and tune in next week for another episode of Lessons from the Cockpit. Check out this episode!
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